2013.09 September meeting notes

Portland Bike/Ped Advisory Committee Meeting
Monday, Sept. 9, 2013

5:30 PM:  Welcome and Introductions
Attending: Damon Yakovleff. (vice chair), Christian MilNeil (E. Bayside), Bruce Hyman (City of Portland, N. Deering), Tyler Kidder (Falmouth, USM Sustainability Coord.), Kurt Steiner (West End), Corey Templeton (downtown), Jennifer Claster (Chair, West End), John Brooking (Westbrook), Alex Landry (Bayside), John Mahoney (Munjoy Hill)

5:40 PM:  Brief Updates

Legislative Update (Damon)
Legislature has approved a transportation bond package; BCM is working to ensure that bike/ped projects will be part of the package when it goes to vote in November.

Bicycle Parking Subcommittee (Kurt)
A draft memo was sent to the email list. Kurt spoke with Dana Knapp of Concord Coach, who is open to improvements and possible funding if proposal doesn't encroach on other parking. 
Subcommittee's short-term recommendation is for shelter over the existing bike racks, replacing the swing-arm racks with standard inverted U racks. Longer-term: bike lockers and indoor bike storage on-site. Subcommittee member Zack Barowitz advocated for a 3-sided shelter; Tyler agreed that bikes need sun protection as well as protection from rain. 
Christian: possibility of creating a bike cage with keycard access, possibly on a subscription basis for commuters. Also, MDOT owns parking lot across the street and might be open to sacrificing one parking spot for bike storage. 
Bruce: NNEPRA (operators of Amtrak Downeaster) has a consultant doing concept design for a new train station at PTC/Thompsons Point. Get it on their rader for programming of a new building — study is happening now. 
Jennefer: recommends specifying in the memo that there are short-term and long-term recommendations.
Damon: Can we include examples of good bike parking? The Jetport bike parking (inside parking garage) comes to mind.
Kurt: Aims to finish revisions and deliver memo this month to Concord Coach and NNEPRA. 
Damon: Crowdsourced bike parking needs map is working well, mostly collecting suggestions for the peninsula. There are some redundant markers and there's no way to 'vote up' someone else's location. Tyler points out that some duplicate markers might be peoples' effort to "second" a previously-placed suggestion. 
Bruce says that the city is looking to install new racks this fall based on these recommendations.
Kurt: The subcommittee is also looking at the ferry terminal. The building renovation project is underway now.

Complete Streets Working Group Update 
John B.: We're talking about a "taxonomy of streets" in a subcommittee. Also reviewed guides from other cities to look for ideas. 9/24 is next mtg., an advance packet will be sent out to the group. 
Bruce: 5 to 7 street types will be selected then looking at design manuals from other cities to implement them here.

• Franklin Study Update'
Jennifer: received a follow-up from consultant Tegin who presented/sought input from our last meeting. She reports that they've received input re: attractions, destinations, desire lines and safety issues from PBPAC and will report these back to the Franklin Street advisory committee at their next meeting (Oct. 2, 6 pm, open to the public).

Congress Square Update 
Hearing is tonight. Poll released today shows more Portlanders in favor of park preservation than in favor of sale. Council could vote tonight for a referendum on the subject. 
Jennifer asked what's happening with the planning dept.'s effort (Neighborland ideas). Seems to be focused mainly on the intersection and the rest of the square extending to the Museum. 
Alex: A public meeting on the square's design will be held later this month. Depending on tonight's meeting it could include Congress Sq. Park. 

Open Streets Update - Baxter Boulevard Cyclovia  & Congress St/FFAW 
Jennifer: Baxter Blvd. proposal (closures every Sunday from Earth Day to Veterans Day, 9 am to 4 pm) goes to vote before full City Council on 9/16 (Monday). 

First Friday Art Walk event has "second wind" thanks to city staff. "Not dead yet." 
Christian asked about closing streets to private cars but not METRO. Would be a big improvement.
Jen: other cities have experimented with it but recommend against having buses — too many pedestrian conflicts.
Kurt: other cities have done this while rerouting buses. What's the big deal? METRO shouldn't be so troubled by this. Blue Hill Ave. in Boston has bus routes with over 10,000 daily riders that get rerouted on a fairly regular basis. 
John Mahoney: buses get stuck in traffic anyhow on First Friday. They might benefit from different routes anyhow. 
Alex L: Congress St. Art Sale already closes street to buses and other traffic.
Jennifer: suspects that other political interests may be at work. 

• PBPAC Planning Process (Damon)
Next month PBPAC will revisit its "top priorities" list — projects, policies we'd like the city to undertake. Over the email list we'll brainstorm ideas then put them to a vote at our October meeting. For past priorities from 2010 and 2008, see this page

• PBPAC Communications Practices (Jennifer)
It was suggested that we create a PBPAC Facebook page to increase outreach. Tyler, John B. and Damon volunteered to admin. Also Jen will start sending PBPAC letters as op-ed contributions to local newspapers.

6:30 PM: Actions

• Vote - Letter: Oxford Street Crossing (John/Zack)
Christian asked whether it was appropriate to get so specific about one project when we're going to be setting priorities next month. Isn't this a statement of priority? Would prefer to hold letter until we've vetted other projects in our ranking process.
John M. stated that he strongly believes it's a social justice issue. 
Alex said that he thinks it's more important to couch it in terms of the Phase 2 Franklin study, which is ambiguous about whether the Oxford St. crossing would be included in the next stage "preliminary design and engineering" product (i.e., the "shovel-ready" design plans for construction). 
Christian agreed and suggested amending the letter to state that the short-term crossing treatment should be part of the first construction project coming out of the Phase 2 process. 
Jennifer agreed to amend the letter and include John M.'s cost estimates as a supporting document. Alex moved to accept the letter as amended, pending final edits vetted through the email list. Christian seconded. Vote passed unanimously. 

• Bikeshare - Response to Staff Recommendations (Jennifer)
Nothing to report. 

Other updates:
Tyler will represent PBPAC in the Portland North bike/ped study, looking at bike routes north and NE of Portland. Study hasn't started yet.